Gamers have had many WWII themed flight combat games on the current gen to enjoy, and Heroes over Europe is the latest. Sequel to the rather good Heroes over the pacific, it hopes to be an improvement over the original. With a large amount of missions, authentic aircrafts to pilot, an explosive single player and multiplayer, is Heroes over Europe a good reason to jump back into the cockpit?

Throughout Heroes over Europe you will play as three main characters in three different squadrons, an American desperate to match the feats of his father, a New Zealander who risks everything every time he flies, and an Englishman who is the son of a dockworker who wishes to escape his working class upbringing. The characters do all have slight back stories but it really isn't devolved into much depth within the game, and whoever you play it makes no difference apart from the accent throughout communication between pilots. The story is told by newsreel footage from WW2 (original? Nope) and voiceovers by your commanding officer, and it all goes together nicely and does advance the story, but there aren't no flashy cut scenes which is quite a disappointment. The whole single player is a very linear affair, with you only being able to progress if you complete the current mission. Though from the start, all the squadrons are there with the missions labelled as locked and will only be playable if you do just what developer Transmission Games wants you to do.

When starting you're HOE journey, you're firstly thrown into training where you'll gradually get taught how to fly the planes and the mechanics of the game, there is also an option to either choose arcade controls, or for the more veteran players, the classic flight-sim controls.

What Heroes over Europe does, it actually does pretty well, with good responsive controls and good shooting mechanics that do give good feedback to the player, there is also a new mode dubbed 'Ace Kill' which is basically a slow motion feature that lets you aim at specific weak parts of an enemy plane and either take them down in one shot or severely damage them, these 'Ace Kills' can be chained together to get you in the 'zone' but there's no really incentive to do it as you don't get anything for doing it. But that's about all there is to in Heroes over Europe. There really isn't much variation, all the missions are also very similar, either protecting something or shooting down enemies before they reach or destroy a point. If Heroes over Europe had really expanded what you get up to as a pilot in the single player and added some fresh new features it really could have been a very decent game. Everything it does, we've already seen in past flying games.

When it comes down to how the game looks, Heroes over Europe is a very mixed bag. When you're close to the ground or taking of, the games textures look abysmal and it's the same if you look closely at anything, buildings, grass, rocks and even the planes which you would of thought they would of at least tried to do well as that's what the games all about. However on the other hand when your high up in the clouds the scenery can look amazing, with the patchwork of fields below and the clouds up above you, polished off with the ever so popular lens flair effect. Some of the games highlights include the white cliffs of Dover and the many docks you fly over throughout the game, it's really surprising as when you start the game and see how bad everything looks you don't expect the game to suddenly look this great. The only problem comes when things are on fire, which happened a lot in WW2, as you soar over London many of the buildings are on fire and can really ruin the games great 'Birdseye view' look, the fire almost looks like its 2D and would be more at home in a PS2 or original Xbox title. Though when in the middle of a dogfight, you're moving too fast to notice these faults. As you shoot enemy planes, bits of the debris will fly off and wings snap which is an extremely nice touch and gives a good feel to the game.

Heroes over Europe does contain a multiplayer component, but a very limited one to say the least. Modes include, Dogfight (Deathmatch), Team Dogfight (Team Deathmatch), Survivor, where you have to be the last man standing over a number of host chosen rounds and Team Survivor, which is basically the same just with teams. The games online is probably the let down of the game, its laggy which causes the enemy plain jitter around so it's very hard to shoot and has no real excitement. A form of cooperative would have been more at home here, or even a separate skirmish mode would have been a lot more rewarding for the player, and developers.

Heroes over Europe can be an extremely fun experience at times and most of the things it does it does well, it just hasn't got enough substance or new features to stand out as a memorable flying game. There really isn't enough to do, but if you're looking for a new flying game fix and don't mind playing a game that has basically recycled old ideas, then you will enjoy Heroes over Europe.

+ Great visuals at times

+ Good mechanics

+ Solid gameplay

- Abysmal visuals in close

- Very linear single player

- Basically pointless multiplayer

Score [74]